Looking to move your existing debt onto a Commonwealth Bank credit card? Here’s what you need to know.
If you have debt on an Australian store or credit card held with another issuer, you can request a balance transfer to a Commonwealth Bank credit card. This gives you a way to consolidate your debt and could help you save on rates and fees as you pay it off. Depending on the CommBank credit card, you may also get a low introductory interest rate before standard costs apply.
Use this guide to learn how a balance transfer with CommBank works, the potential benefits and the key factors to consider so that you can decide if this option is right for you.
Comparison of Commonwealth balance transfer credit cards
What you'll find in this guide
What are the benefits of getting a balance transfer with Commonwealth Bank?
Some of the benefits you could get from a Commonwealth Bank balance transfer include the following:
- Save on interest. If you're paying a lot of interest on your current card debt (or debts), moving it to a CommBank card with an introductory balance transfer rate will help you save on costs for a set period of time.
- Consolidate debts. Moving debts from several accounts onto a CommBank credit card means you’ll only have to manage one account. This can also help reduce the rates and fees that come from juggling different cards.
- Pay off debt faster. Saving on interest charges and other fees means that more of your repayment value will go towards your actual debt. As a result, you could pay it off faster than you would have without the balance transfer. You can also use this payoff calculator to make the most of any promotional interest rate offer and work out how long it will take to get your balance to $0.
Are there any risks to getting a balance transfer with Commonwealth Bank?
As with any balance transfer, one with CommBank comes with some potential pitfalls, including the following:
- High standard variable rates. Once the introductory balance transfer period ends, any remaining debt from the transfer will be charged interest at the standard variable cash advance rate. This could add to your balance and make it harder to pay off the debt.
- Temptation to spend. Any new spending you do with your card will add to your balance. New purchases will also attract your card’s purchase rate from the date they are made, which will add even more to what you already owe.
- Impact on your credit score. As with any new card application, requesting a balance transfer could hurt your credit score by adding a new enquiry to your credit history. Make sure you consider this – as well as other ways your credit score could be affected – before you apply for a balance transfer.
What rates and features should I look at when choosing an offer?
- The balance transfer rate and how long it applies. This is the interest rate that applies when your balance is first transferred. If it’s a lower, promotional rate, it will only last for a set amount of time.
- The revert rate when the introductory period expires. At the end of the initial balance transfer period, any debt you have left from the transfer will be charged interest at the standard variable cash advance rate.
- The annual fee. If your CommBank credit card has an annual fee, it will be charged when you first open the account and then each year on that anniversary. Make sure you factor this cost into your repayments so that you have a clearer idea of how long it will take to clear your balance.
- Eligible debts. CommBank accepts balance transfer requests for personal debts held on existing Australian credit cards or store cards held with another bank or issuer. Keep in mind that any balance transfer requests will be subject to CommBank’s lending criteria and approval.
- Balance transfer limits. A minimum balance transfer amount of $500 applies, and you won’t be able to transfer any amount that is higher than your credit limit. The total amount of your balance transfer is also subject to approval.
Other details to keep in mind
- How long the balance transfer takes. Your balance transfer request will be processed in 5-10 working days. Even if you’re approved, you’ll need to continue making any payments that are due on your existing account until the balance transfer is completed.
- Minimum repayments. Once your balance transfer has been processed, you’ll need to pay at least the minimum amount listed on each statement by the due date. If you want to make the most of any introductory balance transfer rate offered by CommBank, aim to pay a higher amount than this each month.
- No interest-free days. Any interest-free period offered for new purchases won’t apply when you carry a balance transfer debt. This means you’ll be charged interest from the date of the purchase, which will add to your balance.
- Closing your old account. After the balance transfer has been processed and the debt is on your CommBank card, you can follow these steps to close your old account or accounts. This will help you avoid further charges and removes any temptation to spend more on your old cards.
- Partial balance transfer. If you don’t get approved for enough credit to move your entire balance, CommBank may transfer an amount that’s worth up to your available credit limit.
- Reward points. If you have a CommBank credit card that offers rewards, keep in mind that you won’t earn points on your balance transfer.
- Payment allocation. Your repayments automatically go towards the part of your balance that attracts the highest interest rate first. So, if you make new purchases when a low balance transfer rate applies, this means your purchase balance will be paid off before any remaining money is put towards your balance transfer debt.
What if I already have a Commonwealth Bank credit card? Can existing customers still get a balance transfer?
If you already have a CommBank credit card, you can request a balance transfer through NetBank, by calling 13 22 21 or by filling out the credit card balance transfer form available on the CommBank website. Note that balance transfer requests are only eligible for personal debt you hold on an Australian credit card or store card that’s issued by a different bank or provider (not CommBank).
If you have debt on a Commonwealth Bank credit card, you can compare other balance transfer offers to find a new card that works for you.